Parfrey's Glen Trail is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Merrimac, Wisconsin that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, birding, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round.
Parfreys Glen is Wisconsins first State Natural area and is unquestionably the most visited state natural area outside of Devils Lake State Park. The glen is open to the public from 6am to 8pm. At its uppermost part, the glen reaches a depth of nearly 100 feet and embraces a mountain-type stream In the last 20 years, the glen has been changed drastically by powerful floods. The glen has gone through various closures, repairs and upgrades in recent years. The bridges and trail known to hikers in the 80s and early 90s are now gone. The trail was again damaged by flooding in 2010 and closed until the fall of 2011. The 2011 repairs only went as far as the gorge itself. The expectation of further floods has caused the DNR to curb spending on repairs within the gorge proper. Hikers wishing to continue up to the waterfall must navigate a stream and rough stone. The steps leading up to the old viewing area and the viewing area are also damaged. Steps are missing and a section of the viewing area is now partly collapsed. Use caution if you plan to go beyond the marked trail.
Do this a few times every year!
With today's cold snap the glen is full of ice falls! The creek and waterfall itself is still unfrozen and flowing (waterproof boots!), but numerous icicles and ice sheets grew from the rock walls. Really neat.
It was fun but it was basically all up hill and then after walking 2 miles. We had to turn around at the end and walk back down hill. But I did see a cardinal and four white tailed deer so that was pretty cool.
Ample parking and a restroom at the trail head. The trail follows the creek for the whole length. The trail goes from paved surface to easy dirt road to moderate rock scrambling and creek fording after the "end maintained trail" sign. Waterproof boots and poles will help. Very interesting narrow deep gorge. Huge rock blocks fell from cliffs. The cliff exposes layers of pink quartzite pebbles in between sandstone. The trail ends at a low waterfall. Great golden fall colors.
It's a pretty hike, but I would say far from hard.
Neat little area. You wouldn't expect this sort of terrain from the parking lot. The lot is small, but there seemed to always be room for at least a couple of cars. If you go bushwhacking, be sure to wear pants, the stinging nettle can be vicious.
Great hike that doesn't take too much time to accomplish, along with beautiful Merrimac scenery
Nice hike for anyone passing through the area with an hour to spare. Prepare to "off road" it a bit to get to the satisfying falls.
Easily one of my favorite trails. this particular area is known for having unique/seldom seen plant life. It's a gorgeous shaded trail. I'm not too sure why it's rated as hard. there is a very moderate incline on your way in and at the end trail sign you need to use the rocks in the stream if you want to continue but still not too technical. And that's coming from a newbie hiker!
How could you not give this 5 stars? Although it isn't long, it's a beautiful short hike to see some beautiful rock faces and a mini waterfall.
Easily one of my favorite trails in the area. A must-see if you are near Devils Lake. Don't be afraid to keep going over the rocks until you reach the small waterfall!